Failure to Report Ferrari Problems, Deaths Results in $3.5M Fine

Ferrari has agreed to pay a $3.5 million civil penalty after failing to tell government investigators about three deaths involving its vehicles, and failing to submit quarterly accident reports over a three year period. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Ferrari fine on October 31, resolving claims that the company failed to comply with federal laws requiring automakers to submit quarterly early warning reports (EWR reports), which help identify potential safety issues with vehicles.

The agency became aware of the Ferrari reporting discrepancies following its discovery of three fatal accidents which were never disclosed.

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According to the Consent Order, Ferrari has failed to comply with the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act of 2000, mandating automakers to submit quarterly reports that detail customer complaints warranty repairs, injuries, and fatalities each quarter over the last three years.

The U.S. government requires automakers to submit these reports so that the data can be analyzed to spot potential safety defects and help the NHTSA enforce recalls or repair orders.

According to NHTSA documents, two U.S. senators pointed out the lack of early warning data from Ferrari in a letter to government regulators in July. In the letter were detailed reports of three deaths linked to Ferrari accidents, including a 2009 crash in California involving a F430 Spider, a 2006 accident in Germany with a F430F1, and a 2005 Illinois crash involving a 360 Spider.

Upon further investigation by the NHTSA, the agency discovered that Ferrari has failed to submit the mandatory EWR’s over the last three years and also never reported the deaths.

Although Ferrari was categorized as a small volume manufacturer and was not required to file EWR’s until 2011, when Fiat acquired Chrysler, which is an affiliate of Ferrari, the automaker was still responsible for reporting fatalities.

Ferrari will not only have to pay the $3.5 million civil penalty, but also be required to improve its process for EWR reporting, to train personnel on the EWR requirements, to communicate these improvements to the NHTSA, and to retroactively submit all EWR reports.

“There is no excuse for failing to follow laws created to keep drivers safe, and our aggressive enforcement action today underscores the point that all automakers will be held accountable if they fail to do their part in our mission to keep Americans safe on the road,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a press release.

The NHTSA has not said that any of the deaths were linked to a defect in the vehicles.

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